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NMSU Equestrian Team Finishes Strong at IHSA Nationals

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's equestrian team members reined in a third place in the horse judging contest earlier this month at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships in Murfreesboro, Tenn. NMSU rider Kristi Gottsponer finished in the top 10 for two alumni events.

"Our riders competed very well with the best in the nation," said Deborah Rosencrans, NMSU stock seat coach. "To finish in the top 10 or as a finalist is really a testament to the horsemanship and showmanship skills of these riders. Just to qualify and compete in IHSA nationals is a superb accomplishment."

In the horse judging contest, senior Rachel Rosencrans placed third in high-point individual reasons, sixth in high-point overall individual and ninth in high-point placings at Middle Tennessee State University. The 22-year-old from Las Cruces also received an $800 ISHA academic scholarship. Erin Frye, a senior from Los Alamos, finished ninth in high-point individual reasons. Other NMSU competitors were senior Lindsey Hansen and freshmen Christina Gonzales and Elizabeth Knight.

In addition, Rachel Rosencrans, Frye, Hansen and Knight finished fourth overall in the competition's Horse Quiz Bowl, a new event at nationals. Rachel Rosencrans was second high individual and received a $600 award.

In riding events, 23-year-old Kristi Gottsponer placed ninth in alumni Western horsemanship and eighth in alumni reining. The Las Cruces native also received an 11th in alumni over fences and 16th in English equitation. Junior Megan Duff was a finalist in both the American Quarter Horse Association reining and horsemanship classes.

"I am extremely proud of all of our competitors," Deborah Rosencrans said. "NMSU equestrians continue to be a force to be reckoned with at the national level, and I think that's exciting for NMSU."

In team competition, Texas A&M University's stock seat team tied for first place with sister school West Texas A&M University. Host Middle Tennessee State was reserve champion.

"West Texas A&M's team beat us to go to nationals, and Texas A&M was the top team in the zone, so we're right up there with the best," Deborah Rosencrans said.